QU professor weighs in after OSHA suspends enforcing COVID vaccine mandate for private businesses

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(WTNH) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended enforcing the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses.

According to OSHA’s website, they’re confident in their power to protect workers during the pandemic, but is suspending the mandate citing pending litigation.

Angela Mattie, a Quinnipiac University professor who has a background in public health and law, told News 8, “It’s really politicized…It’s questionable whether or not we’ll have a mandate in place for vaccinations.”

RELATED: OSHA suspends enforcement of large employer ‘vaccine mandate’

In September, President Joe Biden announced a new rule requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines for their employees or have them get tested weekly.

But in a 22-page ruling last week, a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit court of appeals comprised of two judges under former President Donald Trump and one Regan appointee, put a stay on President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large, private businesses.

They say they believe this is beyond the scope of OSHA requirements and quote “grossly exceeds OSHA’s Statutory authority.”

Mattie says she hopes the courts look through their lens and see this as a public health issue.

“I’m hoping that we come to some logic and rationalization that we need public health measures,” she said.

OSHA issued this statement on their website:

“The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS ‘until further court order.’ While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”

Mattie said, “We need to vaccinate people. We have a vaccination that we know is effective there are very few if any contraindications to the vaccination. We need to vaccinate people to get back to a so-called normal.”

The White House has yet to react to OSHA’s announcement. Professor Mattie says many are now worried about a twin demic—dealing with both COVID and the flu this winter.

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